McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh breaks down Poirier’s loss and future plans – .

McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh breaks down Poirier’s loss and future plans – .

UFC 264 marked the first time since 2016 that Conor McGregor had secured two fights in one year. The last one came when he faced Nate Diaz, and he dug deep to secure a narrow victory over younger brother Diaz to divide their series 1-1. Saturday was another six-month turnaround for a rematch, like the Diaz fight, and people wondered whether to expect another landmark performance from the Irish sports star against Dustin Poirier.

It didn’t work that way. During the first two minutes of the fight, McGregor and Poirier dueled through the cage and both landed solid shots. McGregor found himself trapped on his back against the cage with Poirier raining on the ground and pounding. And then seconds to go, McGregor’s ankle folded in half on itself and the fight suddenly ended: TKO via doctor’s stop, McGregor due to have surgery Sunday morning for a fracture. fibula and tibia. Watch the highlights here.

McGregor posted a short statement on Instagram that focused primarily on the backlash from the “bad guy” schtick he raced with during fight week. Not a lot of combat analysis there. But later on Sunday, McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh took to his Wimp2Warrior Instagram account for a 30-minute conversation describing the fight and its aftermath.

“He is in the hospital right now, I will go after that to check on him,” Kavanagh said. “You know it’s a bitter pill to swallow, this sport has the highest highs and the lowest lows. We need to take some time to assess what the next step will be. Obviously, rehabilitation and recovery are where they are now. “

Kavanagh broke the exchange of fight for exchange, revealing that they had focused heavily on cage fights against Dustin, including a lot of guillotine work.

“I studied Dustin a lot on the fence, his fight with Holloway for example,” he said. “And I knew Dustin’s head would be there for the guillotine.” So we had a lot of insight into that. Conor has a very, very strong guillotine. A slight tactical error going to the rear with. We broke through to finish on the toes or at least that would make the takedown attempt go away, then we’d be back in the center of the Octagon and back into boxing.

“As someone who loves guillotines myself, the temptation to try to throw that leg over the back and get the finish is very, very strong, and Conor was the one in there, he must have thought. that the catch was good and he went. . That’s the fight, he went there. Dustin did an amazing job placing his leg on the right side of his head to relieve the pressure.

As for the ground and Poirier’s pound, who was tough enough that two of the three judges gave him a 10-8? Nothing to worry about, according to Kavanagh.

“There was a bit of a struggle to free his head and then he landed on some decent pitch and pound,” Kavanagh said. “Mostly on the forearms and gloves, Conor had no marks, no bruises, swelling, cuts, anything like that. So most were trimmed, but it was definitely Dustin’s time. He clearly wins in the eyes of the judges. When Dustin stood up, Conor got some good kicks. Some of them spun and others landed.

“So up to that point, let’s say four and a half minutes, I wasn’t worried at all, I was actually really, really happy. And I knew what I was going to say between rounds… I was just going to tell him to keep doing what he was doing with the kicks and try to close a little heavier this time. So we would be looking at rather than exchanging punches for sliding back and left hand like he did on Aldo. Look for these kinds of techniques. Slide the left cross back, slide the left uppercut back and let Dustin fall into that kind of open space.

“At four and a half minutes, everything is in sauce. The energy looked good, the technique looked good. A few tweaks between rounds and I thought we were on the right track to get there or at least keep going, keeping pace for the rest of the fight.

And then… the broken leg.

“You can look at that back, there are a lot of clips on Instagram, where he kicks the leg, he walks away, then he throws a tip, that’s one of the techniques we wanted. really apply in this fight, ”Kavanagh said. “Obviously, being a left-hander, that side of the liver is there, so we were looking to dive into that area. … There is a high risk of catching the elbow, and if you look back you can clearly see this is where the fracture occurred.

“He threw that kick very aggressively. Dustin bombarded with that lead hand, and the foot wraps around the elbow the same way Weidman and Silva do, they wrap around the shin. Conor wrapped his shin around his elbow. It pulls back on it and you can see the bone almost sticking out through the skin. I don’t know how he didn’t fall there. He gets in there, they both trade crosses, they both miss with their back hands, he’s going to back up on it and that’s when there’s that horrible crease underneath.

“Again, we’ve seen it a handful of times over the years with Weidman and Silva being the greats. Of course, this is the end of the contest. So yes, bitterly disappointed.

Kavanagh also revealed that McGregor had had ankle problems during the fight camp, to the point where they took him to a doctor to examine him.

“A small part of that ankle injury got worse during this camp,” he said. “We had a scan done on it. Did that play a small role in his weakening? I do not know. … Maybe there was something in there. It seems unusual for a healthy young man to be able to wrap his foot around an elbow without there being anything before it. But you know, you can play these guessing games all day long.

“Credit to Dustin, this is how the fighting goes. He won. It is an unsatisfactory end of the evening. I don’t want to put words in Conor’s mouth, but even if it goes in a way where you get hit, you can say, “Okay, you got me. It doesn’t seem like a good end, so to speak. Closure is the word I was looking for.

Asked about McGregor’s unclassified comments after the fight, Kavanagh rolled his eyes.

“His foot literally hangs down. It’s a clear fracture of the fibula and tibia, it went right through, the foot hangs down, ”he said. “You can only imagine the hormones surging and what’s going on in your body, the pain, it was on fire. And then someone sits down and sticks a microphone to your face. “How do you feel about the end?” ”

“Come on. Go! When was he never gracious in the end? Let’s go behind the scenes, get a proper assessment from a doctor. Let’s do a radio. So I was quite annoyed at the idea of ​​sticking a microphone to his face at that time.

That leaves us with the big question: what’s next.

“The 24 hour goal for today is to meet with the surgeon and his team after the operation is complete,” he said. “Get their point of view, get their assessment. It’s only when they’ve opened them up and actually looked at the joint and what’s going on there that they can tell us what the next time around in terms of rehabilitation will be like.

But Kavanagh doesn’t think this is the end.

“He really likes it and it’s hard to imagine him not wanting to come back, not wanting to do it again. Because we really just got this fantastic beat. He’s 33, which for me is a peak period where strength meets conditioning and mental, physical and spiritual maturity, it all falls into place. I think we have a few years ahead of us. ”


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